Syria chemical attack 'staged' with help of foreign secret service: Russian Federation

Alfred Osborne
April 17, 2018

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that Russian experts had inspected the site of the claimed attack and found no trace of chemical weapons.

The attack has drawn global outrage and prompted the United States and its allies to consider a military strike on Syria, something Moscow has strongly warned against.

Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Uzumcu, told the closed-door meeting his inspectors had failed to gain access to the site so far, the British ambassador to the Netherlands told reporters.

"We're letting Russian Federation know this is not something that we want to be a part of", Haley said on "Fox News Sunday".

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's office said on Monday an "irresponsible" migration policy on the part of the European Union. "The bottom line for me is that this latest strike changed nothing", said Nabeel Khoury, a former United States diplomat and now a fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank. May authorised the strikes without a vote from Parliament, which has been in recess.

The Western countries blame Assad for the Douma attack, which a Syrian medical relief group said killed dozens of people and which thrust Syria's seven-year-old conflict into the forefront of global concern once again. The limited scope of the weekend strikes and the fact that Damascus had time to remove key assets thanks to prior warning given by the West to the Syrian regime's ally Russian Federation, have drawn scepticism however.

The claim by Russian Federation comes at a time when the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is likely to face heavy political pressure over her decision to bomb Syria's chemical weapons program.

Pentagon top brass told CBN News three specific targets were hit: A scientific research center north of Damascus, which was used for development, production, and testing of chemical weapons, was destroyed along with two other storage facilities.

The US and its allies believe the Syrian regime was behind the attack, but Russian Federation has long insisted it was staged by rebels in an attempt to provoke further Western intervention.

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Johnson said: "The world is united in its disgust for any use of chemical weapons, but especially against civilians".

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday the United States would announce new economic sanctions aimed at companies dealing with equipment related to Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.

NATO's East Stratcom Task Force which focuses on countering pro-Kremlin propaganda published the Dininfo Review, which said that there is a "serious risk that Russian Federation wins the information confrontation".

The Russians and Syrians "have not been able to guarantee the security of the delegation to go to Douma at this point", Wilson added, saying no timeline had been given for when they could visit.

Demonstrators carry signs during an anti-war protest in New York City on Sunday after President Donald Trump launched airstrikes in Syria.

Moscow blamed the delay on the Western air strikes.

Maj Gen Konashenkov said Britain was "directly involved in the provocation".

Britain has said there are no plans for future strikes against Syria, but Johnson warned Assad that all options would be considered if chemical weapons were used against Syrians again.

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